Tue, 30 May 2023

Pokies have destroyed Australia's live music scene

Independent Australia
26 Mar 2023, 16:52 GMT+10

Poker machines have destroyed livelihoods and they also deprived up-and-coming bands of a start in pubs and other venues, writes John Longhurst.

"THERE YOU go, Bazza."

Bella, the publican, placed the schooner in front of him. Bazza took a generous sip and remained at the bar.

"Where's Mick, Bazza?" she asked.

He responded with:

"More barrelling porkies than pork barrelling eh, Bazza?"

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They both shared a laugh.

Bazza then said:

Bella sighed, pulled out her phone and flicked up the music clip 'Blow Up the Pokies' by the Whitlams on the big screen.

Her eyes moistened at the lyrics:

"You see, Bazza, that song could have easily been composed with my Uncle in mind, pokies destroyed him and his family."

A long pause.

Bazza took a sip and rubbed his chin, "I haven't witnessed anything like that so close to home, Bella. My problem with gambling in pubs is the death of live music".

Bella raised her eyebrows.

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Bazza explained:

"A classic win-win scenario, Bazza."

Bazza took a decent sip:

Bella started wiping the front bar as afternoon regulars lined up:

"Well, that's another story, Bella, in 1959 Buddy Holly."

Bella cut him off:

John Longhurst is a former industrial advocate and political adviser. He currently works as an English and History teacher on the South Coast of NSW.

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